Manny’s Market Morwell Goes Full Circle And Beyond

Fruit and vegetable wholesaler and retailer Manny’s Market Morwell has become a shining example of enrich360® at work, creating its own Circular Community while also being actively involved in the wider program.

And it’s just the beginning for the iconic local business in Morwell, Victoria.

Manny’s owner John Askew shows off fertiliser produced from his enrich360® dehydrator. Photographer: Michelle Slater

How does Manny’s enrich360 Circular Community work?

Owner John Askew saw an opportunity to drastically reduce food waste going to landfill at the market with an innovative sustainable solution and purchased their first enrich360® dehydrator in late 2019. Now, 90% of Manny’s food waste is processed into high-quality organic fertiliser to be returned to the enrich360 Circular Community and distributed in the local area.

John has also connected with his regular customers in restaurants, hospitality, food service and care facilities across Gippsland, taking advantage of fresh produce deliveries to collect more food waste to be processed.

“This is a substantial amount. People were telling us the food scraps were going to landfill which takes longer to break down and produces methane, this doesn’t produce any methane.” John said.

John with Rocco from Verduci Market Gardens, where the fertiliser goes back into growing fresh produce.

Customers can purchase the nutrient-rich fertiliser at Manny’s and other local outlets.

Where does the food waste go?

The enrich360® dehydrator at Manny’s completes around four cycles each day, transforming everything from meat scraps to fruit, bread, vegetables, coffee grinds, flowers and fish guts. The food waste does all the work, with no need for water, sawdust, or any other additives.

Solar panels power the dehydrator and the end product – nutrient-rich fertiliser – is made available for the community to buy at local markets around Gippsland and used to farm higher-quality herbs for local restaurants.

“Initial quality has been great. It’s a better product. Fullstop. And the chefs we distribute herbs to claim better shelf life.” John said.

The cycle continues…

And the story doesn’t end there; Manny’s Market Morwell has created its own local Circular Community by returning the fertiliser to Verduci Market Gardens, where some of Manny’s produce lines are grown, along with the fresh water produced during the dehydration process.

“This machine has endless possibilities. To be able to return the fertiliser to a grower and see the positive impact that it is having on his crops is fantastic.” Mr Askew said.

The initiative also earned Manny’s recognition as a finalist in the 2020 Food & Fibre Gippsland Excellence in Agribusiness Awards. Food and Fibre Gippsland acting chief executive Nicola Watts applauded the collaboration between Manny’s Market Morwell and Verduci Market Gardens.

“Forty per cent of everything that is produced in Australia ends up as waste at some stage of the cycle, whether it be in the harvesting, processing, transport or consumption phase.” she said.

Such has been the popularity of John’s initiative and the demand for the nutrient-rich fertiliser, the next step for Manny’s is to expand the local Circular Community, collecting and supplying more outlets and substantially increasing the processing capacity with a larger enrich360 units.